Family and friends can they be customers too?


LawnSite Member
Do any of you do work for family or friends? How do you keep that relationship with them, but at the same time keeping a business realationship? I do work for some friends and family and some of them have a hard time understanding why I charge them what I do. I try to explain to them that this is how I pay my bills but some of them think I should do it for practialy nothing. I usally don't charge them the same prices as I do everybody else but I try to let them know I still need to charge something. I would like the extra business but don't want to lose the friendship. Is this possible? or Should I stay away from friends and family? Happy Holidays. JAY


LawnSite Silver Member
I think its easier to stay away from any regularly schedueled work for friends or family unless absolutely neccessary. For the exact reason you listed is why most people have that rule that friends/family and biz don't mix. Helping out when you can once in a while isn't bad, but when you have a big family and a lot of contacts around town, you can't keep all your "favor" jobs happy. Maybe you'll have to make a new policy in the spring! Good Luck! It's a tough decesion!

Hope this helps!


LawnSite Senior Member
I been there an done that !just dropped a friend of mine this year.slooow pay.i don't mind helping them out but from now on i'am staying away from working for friends an family.they think you should do it for free an you hafta beg them to pay .(as far a the friend mentioned ...he was cool with it it could have been worse)

Eric ELM

Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
Chicago, IL USA
The best way to loose a friend is to loan them money or work with or for them. If you mow a friends lawn for 1/2 price to make them happy, your loosing money that you could of made doing another lawn for full price. Just tell them you have to many full price customers to do. It took me awhile to see the light too. :)


LawnSite Member
I have done alot of work for family and friends in the past, but I'm getting ready to change that policy..This year I mowed for 5 aunts, 2 uncles, and my grandmother..I don't charge my grandmother so she doesn't count..But I still have 3 aunts that owe me money..One of them has started avoiding me ...Family and friends always want you to cut them a deal and to be consistent I just tell them up front: no deal..If anything I charge them more than I would someone else..It would be different if they were having money problems and needed help...If that was the case I would do the work for nothing..But what gets me is when they expect you to do the work for nothing or next to nothing when they are pretty well off..So for the most part, I would say stay away from family...CleanCut


LawnSite Senior Member
I'm having the same problem I started doing a lawn for a Aunt a year ago the lawn never looked so good it had never been trimmed before, anyways i didn't charge her alot the first year and i upped it $10.00 this year and now her grandson does it and it looks bad again oh well...I use to do her driveway for free when i was younger and i think she still expects that not any more.. Its hard doing relatives
but you want to be nice..

John DiMartino

LawnSite Silver Member
I have a real tough time with this too,Im trying to avoid doing relatives in the first place,only talking about it when cornered.I have the ame problems,they think i should basically give away my services as if all my stuff were free and i dont need to make a living.I've been dropping freeby a year,plowing,until they are all gone,I just dont have the time and why waste even 10 minutes without being paid.


LawnSite Senior Member
longisland ny
i did my ucles driveway last year 3 hours of shoveling he just wanted to make sure that his family when they came home didnt fall all slip he told me.i did the whole job and left because noone was home that day .the next day he gave my mother a hundred dollars.i was really happy but i still felt bad like i should have given it back so you guys are right dont even get involved if possible i dont cut none of my familys lawns when they ask i tell them i wish i had the time to even cut my parents lawn. which i do or ill get shot..definately a hard choice 4 me.


LawnSite Senior Member
South West PA
I had a neighbor that would make a list of all the jobs that her husband did not get to, and then hire us to do them. Problem was that she would not tell her husband that we were going to to the work. We were required to do the work when he was at work. He would find out about it when he got home, and get upset with her. He never got mad at me, he knew that I was just doing what was told. We even did a few un-reversable things, like removing some shrubs...

I almost got shot doing this.

It was the off season, and she asked if I could paint her bathroom. No problem. I don't normally do this kind of work, but since it was a friend, and the off season, I agreed. I asked the woman if she had told her husband ahead of time, and she said that she did.

I was over painting the one day, and she went out. Her husband came home before she got home, and heard a noise upstairs. He saw that her car was not there, and thought that a burgler was in the house. He loaded his hunting rifle in the basement, and came walking up the steps, following the noise. He walked into the bedroom, and nearly shot me when he saw me in the doorway of the bathroom. I dropped the paint roller in the carpet I was so scared.

The wife then learned her lesson. I did as well. I am very lucky. This is a true story.